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MOSCOW, August 4. /TASS/. The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Independent Panel has given green light to participation of Russian table tennis players - Maria Dolgikh, Polina Mikhailova and Aleksander Shibayev - in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, First Vice President of Russia’s Table Tennis Federation Vladimir Grigoryev told TASS on Thursday.
"Yes, our team has been allowed to compete in the Olympics," Grigoryev said. "They are already there."
Russia’s Olympic table tennis squad includes three players - Dolgikh, Mikhailova and Shibayev, who were on the national entry list for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro.
IOC President Thomas Bach announced on July 24 that Russian athletes, with the exception of track and field competitors, were allowed to participate in the 2016 Summer Olympics based on individual approval of each respective international sports federation or association.
He made the statement after a teleconference by the IOC Executive Board, which, however, ruled that no Russian athlete, who had been previously sanctioned for doping would be allowed to take part in the Rio Olympics, even if their previous restrictions had expired as well as any athlete mentioned in the McLaren report.
The recently formed IOC Independent Panel lists three members only and they are: Ugur Erdener, the head of the IOC Medical Commission; Claudia Bokel, an IOC Executive Board Member and the Chair of the IOC Athletes’ Commission; and Juan Antonio Samaranch Jr, an IOC Executive Board Member.
The Independent Commission of WADA, chaired by Canadian law professor, Richard McLaren, released the now-infamous July 18 report on the results of a probe into the accusations of doping and manipulation of tests by Russian athletes and officials at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.
According to the details, the commission claimed it had found evidence that Russia’s Sports Ministry and the Center for the Training of Russian National Teams and the Federal Security Service had covered up a doping program in Russian sports.
The report from WADA’s Commission stated in particular that the commission’s investigation registered a total of 643 cases of Disappearing Positive Test Results in Russia between 2012 and 2015 involving athletes from 30 sports.
As a result, WADA suggested that the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and all international sports federations ban Russian athletes from all international sports competitions, including Rio 2016.
The 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro are scheduled for August 5-21.